John Connolly is the author of the Charlie Parker series of mystery novels, the supernatural collection Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson Trilogy for younger readers, and (with Jennifer Ridyard) the Chronicles of the Invaders series. He lives in Dublin, Ireland. For more information, see his website at JohnConnollyBooks.com, or follow him on Twitter @JConnollyBooks.
Irish writer Connolly's follow-up to Every Dead Thing, which won the 2000 Shamus Award for Best PI First Novel, is just as grim, hard-edged and compulsively readable as his debut. Recently relocated to his home town of Scarborough, Maine, newly licensed PI Charlie Parker tries to get some overdue child support from wastrel Billy Purdue as a favor to Purdue's ex-wife Rita, an act of charity that ends up pitting Parker and his friends Angel and Luis against mobster Tony Celli. Celli is looking for $2 million that Purdue might have heisted during a botched ransom exchange, and a pair of killers named Abel and Stritch are on the loose. There's also a trail of dead bodies, all of them linked to Purdue's search for his birth parents, a line that stretches from his family to an old woman who kills herself after running away from a nursing home. She claims to have seen Caleb Kyle, a vicious serial killer who hasn't been heard from since Parker's youth. It's this element of the plot that lends a supernatural air to the already creepy proceedings (Parker has visions of his dead wife and daughter); the book opens like a Stephen King novel, with a violent prologue, visions of nameless evil darkening the stars, and the dead past coming alive. Since the novel is set in Maine, it feels like an homage to the master of Pine Tree State horror. Luckily, this very violent hunt for a revived serial killer can survive comparison with the best, especially when you consider that Connolly is creating pitch-perfect American dialogue and believable American characters from a desk in Dublin. Agent, Darley Anderson. (July) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Having won the 2000 Shamus Award for Best First Private-Eye Novel, Connolly aims for more success by dropping protagonist Charlie "Bird" Parker in the midst of savage doings in Maine. Note that the author is Irish. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Grim, hard-edged, and compulsively readable.